Updated: Dec 2, 2022
BOXPARK Croydon invited the AKADi Magazine team to watch the Ghana vs Portugal game on 24 November 2022. Our associate editor KAmo went along to soak up the vibes, support the Black Stars and grab a bite to eat. He tells us more about the experience.
The Ghana vs Portugal game was my first experience of watching the Black Stars play outside of Ghana but the buzz in BOXPARK Croydon was just as electric as me sitting in an Accra drinking spot. The only difference was the venue was bigger but not as warm.
I was met by the sound of Afrobeats and the smells of international cuisine, which I sampled. And in the spirit of togetherness, (All Together #WC2022), various nations were represented under one roof with many people sporting their national team shirts. I was wearing my Black Stars shirt under my coat.
The table reserved for the AKADi Magazine team was a little slice of Africa with representation from, of course Ghana, but also new-found friends from Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Egypt.
Even before the game started, there was a ‘kick-up’ competition between opposing supporters with Ghana fans winning the free T-shirt giveaways. It is a shame that Ghana won that competition instead of the actual match…..
The beautiful game
On to the game and reminiscent of my past experiences of watching matches in Ghana, fans were every bit as enthusiastic, excited, and much louder than the Portuguese supporters.
Their energy reminded me of scenes from Ghana where it is not uncommon to see the national team score and excited fans pour from their homes on to the street to cheer and celebrate before quickly returning to their TVs to continue watching the match.
The match itself was tense. In my opinion, Ghana’s players started with very little confidence, and it almost felt as though they were overwhelmed by the occasion. I get it - we were playing Portugal - a big team - with Cristiano Ronaldo, an even bigger player.
I began to lose hope for the Black Stars when coupled by their lacklustre performance in the first half, During the second half Cristiano was offered a ‘bogus’ penalty, which eventually put Portugal in the lead.
But my mood then changed when we equalised. I even raised my arms to the heavens in celebration – and I never do that!
The final score was Portugal three - Ghana two. And although we lost the match, I was left feeling very proud of our team. However, notwithstanding the results, our Black Stars did us proud. They played impressively well even after falling behind from a ‘dubious’ penalty and from what appeared to be an offside goal.
Ghana v Uruguay reloaded
Following the Black Star’s success against South Korea on 28 November, I will be returning to the BOXPARK this Friday (2 December) to watch us compete against our rivals Uruguay and the footballer everyone in Ghana probably hates - Luis Suarez!
This man was effectively responsible for Ghana’s exit from the 2010 World Cup quarter finals in South Africa. Thanks to him, he stopped a goal bound header with his hand. I truly hope that the Black Stars can avenge that defeat…
Special thanks to the TFR Agency and Tash and fellow Ghanaian Eugene from BOXPARK Croydon for their hospitality.